Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nandagudi SEZ causes land prices to zoom

Times had an article on the speculative nature of land prices in Nandagudi. The sellers are making hay while the sun shines. More power to the farmers. Now the land-sharks have moved so better watch out before buying anything here.

Nandagudi: One announcement, and the dusty swathes of Nandagudi village, 45 km from Bangalore, have turned into fields of gold. The Karnataka government’s proposal to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) has ensured that per acre of land, which was being sold for a paltry Rs 1 lakh just a few months ago, reach the dizzying Rs 1-crore figure. Also joining the party in the boom is Hoskote, a neighbouring biggish town.
Land prices have appreciated 200% in two months and show no signs of slowing down. Land sharks are already on the spot. Adjacent to the SEZ area, the land used to cost less than Rs 2 lakh. Today, it is nothing less than Rs 60 lakh. Move further down towards the NH 4 near Hoskote, and it goes up to Rs 1 crore per acre.
Why not? Nandagudi hobli serves as the centre-point for the international airport in Devanahalli, new Outer Ring Road and, of course, the SEZ. Already, 50% of the land around the proposed SEZ area has been bought by local leaders, real estate firms and land dealers from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Remaining lands are either under sale-purchase process or being held by original owners, who are waiting for the prices to go up further.
“Many farmers have sold their lands and settled down in neighbouring Chintamani or Kolar. We are making hay while the sun is shining,” said Nandagudi resident Satyanarayana gleefully. The village, where bullock carts used to trundle, is being dusted up by quite a few pricey SUVs, he says.
A nondescript village till last year, Nandagudi caught the shine of real estate developers when the BMRDA proposed to set up an IT township in Hoskote, between D Shettarahalli and Nandagudi hobli.
The proposal is still pending before the government, but that has not stopped land sharks from creating the hype and pumping up the prices. They have already acquired large swathes of land and are waiting to make a killing. Nandagudi’s USP: Silk ’n’ milk
Nandagudi: Situated 45 km from Bangalore in Hoskote taluk, Nandagudi hobli has been involved in silkwormrearing (sericulture) from the 1780s and the village got involved in milk production only later.
“Tipu Sultan introduced sericulture in Hoskote during the early 1780s, along with Chennapatna and Ramanagaram. Since then, the silk traders from this village competed with Chennapatna’s traders and met a major part of the demand from Mysore state,’’ explains Arun Prasad, research head, Discover Bengaluru.
Even today, most of the villagers are engaged in sericulture. This in turn, provides employment to many others. Dairy products prepared in Nandagudi and its vicinity meet the demand of parts of Bangalore, Chintamani and Kolar. A small village near Nandagudi — Idigenehalli — contributes about 2,750 litres of milk every day. Of late, even vegetables are being grown in the area.
Eminent historian Suryanath Kamath cites records dating back to 1530 AD from Voddarahalli, which reveal that Nandagudi was the headquarters of an administrative unit (sthala) called Nandaguli. In another record from the same period, Nandagudi is referred to as ‘Nanjiguli’ under Sugatur Seeme. Tamil records mention the place as Nondukolli.
“Earlier, under the Cholas, it was called Kaivaranadu. Under the Hoysalas, Nandagudi became the headquarters of Naadu,’’ Kamath said.
Many monuments and temples in Nandagudi still narrate tales from the pages of history. The village is situated at the foot of a laterite hillock and a small cave there houses a renovated Mutyalamma temple — the village goddess. The temple pillars have many relief sculptures carved in the Vijayanagara style.

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